TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT

Tripoto
1st Mar 2019
Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege

One Casual evening while scrolling my Facebook I got a notification to like a page called “Jungle Meadows

and Farms” as it was from a family friend I decided to have a look at it and was awestruck by the pictures of Tigers and the cute little resort, after reading more about the page I got to know about “Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve” (TATR) located near Nagpur. I had decided in mind to visit this place. I convinced my friends on doing this trip also I had to assure them that the trip would be done without burning a hole in the pocket.

We contacted Kunal Patel from Jungle Meadows ; it was a short notice plan so we had to opt for tatkal safari's, generally the safari booking are to be done 6 months in advance. Thanks to Kunal he helped us book 4 safari's - 2 in Core Zones at Tatkal Rates and 2 Buffer Zones at Normal Rate. We were sceptical on booking buffer zone as we thought that the chance of sighting would go down, however Kunal Explained us the pro’s of Buffer Zone and difference between Core Zone and Buffer Zone.

There are total 12 gates in TATR : 6 are of Core gates and 6 are of Buffer gates. The difference between Tadoba Core and Tadoba Buffer Safari zones is that generally “Core” area is where the actual forest exists and there are no villages inside this core zone and “Buffer” area is where you will see a interplay of villages and the forest area, this is where both villagers and animals (mainly tigers) co-exist.

Day 1 :

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All excited for Tiger Sighting : We started out Travel from Mumbai to Nagpur we opted for train travel ; Duronto Express is a overnight train which reaches Nagpur at 07.20 am, we started our onward travel to Chandrapur, it takes around 2-3 hours. On the way we halted at the famous “Haldiram” Outlet for quick breakfast in Nagpur. We reached our resort, it was a simple resort with cute cottages. we were offered lemon grass tea which was completely refreshing and much needed in the scorching heat. we checked into our rooms which were very cozy and comfortable.

We had our afternoon safari booked ; First timers to the Safari experience we were super excited, our jeep entered the Kolara gate and we were mesmerized by large oak trees, grasslands, huge Lake. we were all anxious and eagerly waiting for the glimpse of the Royal Cat ; Slowly as you enter the forest we realised Jungle Safari means a lot more than just Tiger Sightings, you need to have patience and enjoy the Safari, safari rides are little rough and bumpy however its worth the experience. We were greeted by Wild boars, Deer, Sambhar, Peacock and many other species. The guides are well versed with the roads, he drove us to the water body as they had sighted the Tiger in the last safari near the water body, we decided to park our Jeep and wait, in few minutes a cub was walking towards the Water from the Dense Forest, the guide told us its “Chota Matkasur”, to our surprise some of the tigers have been named by the Forest Department. The Royal Walk was a treat to the eyesight, Chota Matka soaked himself in the pond and our eyes all glued. What an experience it was, we could not believe we would be so lucky in our first sighting. We returned to our hotel with smiling faces.

Day 2 :

After a great Safari Experience last afternoon, we were super excited for our next safaris, Day 2 had 2 Safari. Morning Safari was at Navegaon Core Zone, our hotel was close to Kolara gate, and Navegaon being 45 mins - 1 hour from Kolara. We started our day at 5 am. Morning Safari experiences are different from Afternoon Safari, The Climate was soothing and Cool, We went into the forest and started looking for Tigers, for around 1 hour we were not lucky, we saw around 10 vehicle waiting at a spot and we decided to wait, in around 15 minutes our guide could see blur sight of a tiger walking towards the Lake and we all anxiously waiting to have a complete view, The Guide mentioned it was “Shivanjari” the Tiger was trying to mark his territory in the Navegaon Zone, the Tiger was also injured.

We were contented already with the sightings, Jungle Meadows proved to be lucky for us. Oh Wait!! there was more for us in the box. we had noticed some picnic baskets in the jeep however we had no idea it had amazingly packed breakfast, the experience of having breakfast amidst the lush green jungle it was a totally different experience. we had visited in March, the temperature was around 40 degree, to keep us hydrated they would also pack bottles of Water and limbu Sherbet. After an amazing experience we were back to our hotel, time for some sleep as we had started our day early.

We started our 3rd Safari at Kolara Buffer Zone ; we did not have much expectations in mind and to be very frank we were very much contended about tiger sighting, I Personally wanted to sight Sloth bear. To our surprise Buffer areas are beautiful with dense tree canopy and have natural water sources. It was 2 hours however there was no luck with the sighting, the driver and guide tried to calm us down and asked us to be more patient. The sun was at its peak and no sighting was making us restless, we were sitting in the jeep with blank faces and sheer disappointment; At around 5.00 pm the guide could hear Sambhar Call and decided to park the jeep and wait and the Royal Walk of Junbai’s Cub from the lush green forest till the water body, this was one of the best sighting of our Tour, we had perfect view of the Tiger. we halted at the same place for next 30 minutes and took pictures in all possible angles.

Day 3 :

Time for our Last Safari; last zone was Kolara Buffer and our hotels being too close to Kolara Gate we started at 5.45 am, as we entered the gate ; within minutes of entering the gate, we sighted the same tiger at the same water body, however for seconds we missed the Sloth Bear.

we could not ask for anything more,to our surprise in Safari 4 we sighted Tigress “Junabai” and her 2 cubs. With Smile on our faces, peace in our mind and lots of memories in our heart we started our onward journey to Mumbai ; We took Flight back to Mumbai from Nagpur Airport.

Details of the Trip ;

The Total cost of trip will range from Rs.15,000-Rs.16,000/- per person for 2 nights with 4 safaris.

Travel :

Train Travel from Mumabi to Nagpur: Cstm Nagpur Duronto Express (12289) Departs at 20.15 from CST and Reaches Napur at 07.20 - 3 Tier A/c – Rs. 1,850/- per person

Flight from Napgpur to Mumbai : Rs.3,100/- per person

To and Fro Travel from Nagpur to Chandrapur in Innova – Rs.7,000/- (Arranged by Jungle Meadows)

Alternate Travel :

Sevagram Express (12139) from Mumbai CSTM to Chandrapur Departs at 15.00 and reaches Chandrapur at 08.30

Bpq Wr Pass (51196) from Chandrapur to Mumbai CSTM Departs at from Chandrapur at 17.58 and reaches CST at 12.00 and Anandwan Exp (22128) at 22.39 from Chandrapur and reaches CST at 13.45

Stay :

Jungle Meadows and Farm : 2 Nights (Meals are cooked in the hotel and from freshly grown and organic produce, the staff will take you through the farms to show the freshly grown produce)

Best Part with Booking with them is they will take care of all your safari bookings and to and fro travels.

Safari :

Rs.23,600/- (4 Safari for 6 people) excluding 1 guide and 1 driver. The Jeep Drivers pick you from your respective hotels and drop you back after the Safari (The cost includes Jeep, permissions if any, guides etc - As our booking were at last moment, we had to book 2 Core Safari’s in Tatkal which added to cost, advance booking can help reduce the cost)

Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege
Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege
Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege
Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege

Entering the Forest

Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege
Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege
Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege

wild Dog

Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege

Caring Mother

Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege
Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege

Marking the Territory

Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege
Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege
Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege

Lazing Around

Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege
Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege

That Look

Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege
Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege
Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege
Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege
Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege
Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege

The Royal Walk

Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege

Final Goodbye

Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege

Crocodile

Photo of TADOBA : Wildlife Experience with the Royal CAT by Yamini Rege
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